Immaculate Heart of Mary’s Hermitage Report

May God, who can never be outdone in generosity, bless and keep you.

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Living for God

November 2nd, 2015 · No Comments

St. Francis de Sales noted, every moment comes to us out of eternity pregnant with the possibility of Divine Union in and through whatever, with whomever and at wherever it is that God has us.

Each moment is the golden opportunity to Love Him in living and doing His Will for us. Then that moment plunges back into eternity as whatever we have chosen to make it.

Since Love for God and All in Him is the Meaning, every moment is the moment of Love. This incredibly simple and direct, but it makes all the difference!

Make Love your sole occupation, in everything you say, think, will, desire, and do, make it an Act of Love. Then you will have perfect union with God because you will be perfectly like Him as He is, and is being Himself fully in you,, with you, through you, for you. This is the inner reality of every Carthusian Saint, and should be the proximate goal of every Christian in any state of life or vocation.

So, turn necessity into a virtue, by turning everything in your life into an act of love. If necessary, make frequent, intentional acts of love, offering the actions and movements of you daily life to God as love gifts. Everything is an offering except what is sinful per se, but even our grief and repentance over our sins is a love offering and a love gift.

→ No CommentsTags: Carthusian · Hermitage · Monasticism · Religious Studies · Teachings of the Catholic Church

Feast of the Holy Rosary

October 7th, 2015 · No Comments

October 7
Feast of the Holy Rosary

 The feast of the Holy Rosary was established by Saint Pius V on the anniversary of the naval victory won by the Christian fleet at Lepanto, October 7, 1571. The victory was attributed to the help of the holy Mother of God whose aid was invoked through praying the Rosary.

The celebration of this day invites all to mediate upon the mysteries of Christ, following the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary who was so singularly associated with the incarnation, passion and glorious resurrection of the Son of God. From the Christian Prayer(Liturgy of the Hours)


Lord, fill our hearts with your love,
and as you revealed to us by an angel the coming of your Son as man,
so lead us through his suffering and death to the glory of his resurrection,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Reading: Acts of the Apostles 1:12-14
Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away; and when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:26-38
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?” And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.

And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.


→ No CommentsTags: Marian Devotion · Meditation · Prayer

Saint Bruno

October 6th, 2015 · No Comments

Founder of the Carthusian Order

He was born at Cologne about the year 1030; died 6 October, 1101. He is usually represented with a death’s head in his hands, a book and a cross, or crowned with seven stars; or with a roll bearing the device O Bonitas. His feast is kept on the 6th of October. According to tradition, St. Bruno belonged to the family of Hartenfaust, or Hardebüst, one of the principal families of the city, and it is in remembrance of this origin that different members of the family of Hartenfaust have received from the Carthusians either some special prayers for the dead, as in the case of Peter Bruno Hartenfaust in 1714, and Louis Alexander Hartenfaust, Baron of Laach, in 1740; or a personal affiliation with the order, as with Louis Bruno of Hardevüst, Baron of Laach and Burgomaster of the town of Bergues-S. Winnoc, in the Diocese of Cambrai, with whom the Hardevüst family in the male line became extinct on 22 March, 1784.

We have little information about the childhood and youth of St. Bruno. Born at Cologne, he would have studied at the city college, or collegial of St. Cunibert. While still quite young (a pueris) he went to complete his education at Reims, attracted by the reputation of the episcopal school and of its director, Heriman. There he finished his classical studies and perfected himself in the sacred sciences which at that time consisted principally of the study of Holy Scriptures and of the Fathers. He became there, according to the testimony of his contemporaries, learned both in human and in Divine science. His education completed, St. Bruno returned to Cologne, where he was provided with a canonry at St. Cunibert’s, and, according to the most probable opinion, was elevated to the priestly dignity. This was about the year 1055. In 1056 Bishop Gervais recalled him to Reims, to aid his former master Heriman in the direction of the school. The latter was already turning his attention towards a more perfect form of life, and when he at last left the world to enter the religious life, in 1057, St. Bruno found himself head of the episcopal school, or écolâtre, a post difficult as it was elevated, for it then included the direction of the public schools and the oversight of all the educational establishments of the diocese. For about twenty years, from 1057 to 1075, he maintained the prestige which the school of Reims has attained under its former masters, Remi of Auxerre, Hucbald of St. Amand, Gerbert, and lastly Heriman. Of the excellence of his teaching we have a proof in the funereal titles composed in his honour, which celebrate his eloquence, his poetic, philosophical, and above all his exegetical and theological, talents; and also in the merits of his pupils, amongst whom were Eudes of Châtillon, afterwards Urban II, Rangier, Cardinal and Bishop of Reggio, Robert, Bishop of Langres, and a large number of prelates and abbots.

The latter’s reply was to raze the houses of his accusers, confiscate their goods, sell their benefices, and appeal to the pope. Bruno then absented himself from Reims for a while, and went probably to Rome to defend the justice of his cause.

In 1075 St. Bruno was appointed chancellor of the church of Reims, and had then to give himself especially to the administration of the diocese. Meanwhile the pious Bishop Gervais, friend of St. Bruno, had been succeeded by Manasses de Gournai, who quickly became odious for his impiety and violence. The chancellor and two other canons were commissioned to bear to the papal legate, Hugh of Die, the complaints of the indignant clergy, and at the Council of Autun, 1077, they obtained the suspension of the unworthy prelate.

It was only in 1080 that a definite sentence, confirmed by a rising of the people, compelled Manasses to withdraw and take refuge with the Emperor Henry IV. Free then to choose another bishop, the clergy were on the point of uniting their vote upon the chancellor. He, however, had far different designs in view.

According to a tradition preserved in the Carthusian Order, Bruno was persuaded to abandon the world by the sight of a celebrated prodigy, popularized by the brush of Lesueur — the triple resurrection of the Parisian doctor, Raymond Diocres. To this tradition may be opposed the silence of contemporaries, and of the first biographers of the saint; the silence of Bruno himself in his letter to Raoul le Vert, Provost of Reims; and the impossibility of proving that he ever visited Paris. He had no need of such an extraordinary argument to cause him to leave the world. Some time before, when in conversation with two of his friends, Raoul and Fulcius, canons of Reims like himself, they had been so enkindled with the love of God and the desire of eternal goods that they had made a vow to abandon the world and to embrace the religious life. This vow, uttered in 1077, could not be put into execution until 1080, owing to various circumstances.

The first idea of St. Bruno on leaving Reims seems to have been to place himself and his companions under the direction of an eminent solitary, St. Robert, who had recently (1075) settled at Molesme in the Diocese of Langres, together with a band of other solitaries who were later on (1098) to form the Cistercian Order. But he soon found that this was not his vocation, and after a short sojourn at Sèche-Fontaine near Molesme, he left two of his companions, Peter and Lambert, and betook himself with six others to Hugh of Châteauneuf, Bishop of Grenoble, and, according to some authors, one of his pupils. The bishop, to whom God had shown these men in a dream, under the image of seven stars, conducted and installed them himself (1084) in a wild spot on the Alps of Dauphiné named Chartreuse, about four leagues from Grenoble, in the midst of precipitous rocks and mountains almost always covered with snow. With St. Bruno were Landuin, the two Stephens of Bourg and Die, canons of St. Rufus, and Hugh the Chaplain, “all, the most learned men of their time,” and two laymen, Andrew and Guerin, who afterwards became the first lay brothers. They built a little monastery where they lived in deep retreat and poverty, entirely occupied in prayer and study, and frequently honoured by the visits of St. Hugh who became like one of themselves. Their manner of life has been recorded by a contemporary, Guibert of Nogent, who visited them in their solitude. (De Vitâ suâ, I, ii.)

Meanwhile, another pupil of St. Bruno, Eudes of Châtillon, had become pope under the name of Urban II (1088). Resolved to continue the work of reform commenced by Gregory VII, and being obliged to struggle against the antipope, Guibert of Ravenna, and the Emperor Henry IV, he sought to surround himself with devoted allies and called his ancient master ad Sedis Apostolicae servitium. Thus the solitary found himself obliged to leave the spot where he had spent more than six years in retreat, followed by a part of his community, who could not make up their minds to live separated from him (1090).

It is difficult to assign the place which he then occupied at the pontifical court, or his influence in contemporary events, which was entirely hidden and confidential. Lodged in the palace of the pope himself and admitted to his councils, and charged, moreover, with other collaborators, in preparing matters for the numerous councils of this period, we must give him some credit for their results. But he took care always to keep himself in the background, and although he seems to have assisted at the Council of Benevento (March, 1091), we find no evidence of his having been present at the Councils of Troja (March, 1093), of Piacenza (March, 1095), or of Clermont (November, 1095). His part in history is effaced. All that we can say with certainty is that he seconded with all his power the sovereign pontiff in his efforts for the reform of the clergy, efforts inaugurated at the Council of Melfi (1089) and continued at that of Benevento. A short time after the arrival of St. Bruno, the pope had been obliged to abandon Rome before the victorious forces of the emperor and the antipope. He withdrew with all his court to the south of Italy.

During the voyage, the former professor of Reims attracted the attention of the clergy of Reggio in further Calabria, which had just lost its archbishop Arnulph (1090), and their votes were given to him.

The pope and the Norman prince, Roger, Duke of Apulia, strongly approved of the election and pressed St. Bruno to accept it. In a similar juncture at Reims he had escaped by flight; this time he again escaped by causing Rangier, one of his former pupils, to be elected, who was fortunately near by at the Benedictine Abbey of La Cava near Salerno. But he feared that such attempts would be renewed; moreover he was weary of the agitated life imposed upon him, and solitude ever invited him. He begged, therefore, and after much trouble obtained, the pope’s permission to return again to his solitary life. His intention was to rejoin his brethren in Dauphiné, as a letter addressed to them makes clear.

But the will of Urban II kept him in Italy, near the papal court, to which he could be called at need. The place chosen for his new retreat by St. Bruno and some followers who had joined him was in the Diocese of Squillace, on the eastern slope of the great chain which crosses Calabria from north to south, and in a high valley three miles long and two in width, covered with forest. The new solitaries constructed a little chapel of planks for their pious reunions and, in the depths of the woods, cabins covered with mud for their habitations.

A legend says that St. Bruno whilst at prayer was discovered by the hounds of Roger, Great Count of Sicily and Calabria and uncle of the Duke of Apulia, who was then hunting in the neighbourhood, and who thus learnt to know and venerate him; but the count had no need to wait for that occasion to know him, for it was probably upon his invitation that the new solitaries settled upon his domains. That same year (1091) he visited them, made them a grant of the lands they occupied, and a close friendship was formed between them. More than once St. Bruno went to Mileto to take part in the joys and sorrows of the noble family, to visit the count when sick (1098 and 1101), and to baptize his son Roger (1097), the future Kind of Sicily. But more often it was Roger who went into the desert to visit his friends, and when, through his generosity, the monastery of St. Stephen was built, in 1095, near the hermitage of St. Mary, there was erected adjoining it a little country house at which he loved to pass the time left free from governing his State.

Meanwhile the friends of St. Bruno died one after the other: Urban II in 1099; Landuin, the prior of the Grand Chartreuse, his first companion, in 1100; Count Roger in 1101. His own time was near at hand. Before his death he gathered for the last time his brethren round him and made in their presence a profession of the Catholic Faith, the words of which have been preserved. He affirms with special emphasis his faith in the mystery of the Holy Trinity, and in the real presence of Our Saviour in the Holy Eucharist — a protestation against the two heresies which had troubled that century, the tritheism of Roscelin, and the impanation of Berengarius. After his death, the Carthusians of Calabria, following a frequent custom of the Middle Ages by which the Christian world was associated with the death of its saints, dispatched a rolliger, a servant of the convent laden with a long roll of parchment, hung round his neck, who passed through Italy, France, Germany, and England. He stopped at the principal churches and communities to announce the death, and in return, the churches, communities, or chapters inscribed upon his roll, in prose or verse, the expression of their regrets, with promises of prayers. Many of these rolls have been preserved, but few are so extensive or so full of praise as that about St. Bruno. A hundred and seventy-eight witnesses, of whom many had known the deceased, celebrated the extent of his knowledge and the fruitfulness of his instruction. Strangers to him were above all struck by his great knowledge and talents. But his disciples praised his three chief virtues — his great spirit of prayer, an extreme mortification, and a filial devotion to the Blessed Virgin.

Both the churches built by him in the desert were dedicated to the Blessed Virgin: Our Lady of Casalibus in Dauphiné, Our Lady Della Torre in Calabria; and, faithful to his inspirations, the Carthusian Statutes proclaim the Mother of God the first and chief patron of all the houses of the order, whoever may be their particular patron.

St. Bruno was buried in the little cemetery of the hermitage of St. Mary, and many miracles were worked at his tomb. He had never been formally canonized. His cult, authorized for the Carthusian Order by Leo X in 1514, was extended to the whole church by Gregory XV, 17 February, 1623, as a semi-double feast, and elevated to the class of doubles by Clement X, 14 March, 1674. St. Bruno is the popular saint of Calabria; every year a great multitude resort to the Charterhouse of St. Stephen, on the Monday and Tuesday of Pentecost, when his relics are borne in procession to the hermitage of St. Mary, where he lived, and the people visit the spots sanctified by his presence. An immense number of medals are struck in his honour and distributed to the crowd, and the little Carthusian habits, which so many children of the neighbourhood wear, are blessed. He is especially invoked, and successfully, for the deliverance of those possessed.

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Prayer to Saint Michael

September 29th, 2015 · No Comments

St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in the day of Battle;
Be our safeguard against the
wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke Him, we humbly pray,
and do Thou, O Prince of the
Heavenly Host, by the power of God,
cast into Hell, Satan and all
the other evil spirits,
who prowl through the world,
seeking the ruin of souls.

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Ascension Catholic Community Ministry of Intercession for September 2015

September 6th, 2015 · 1 Comment

Lord you continue to watch over your Church and her people. Here us as we lift up our petitions to You.

We pray for the Holy Father’s intentions. Universal: That opportunities for education and employment may increase for all young people. Evangelization: That catechists may give witness by living in a way consistent with the faith they proclaim.

God Our Father, as we begin the school year we pray for all educators, catechists and Catholic teachers, may their work yield spiritual fruit in the lives of the young.

Lord God, we ask your healing grace for all those who have been diagnosed with cancer and are sick, injured and disabled.

We pray for all those involved with the World Meeting of Families 2015. Love is Our Mission: Family Fully Alive! We ask your blessing on all families and for the teams working in all the ministries of Ascension Parish.

Holy Spirit, guide all those involved with the Christ Renews His Parish retreats. May they find peace and a new life in Christ’s image.

We pray for Pope Francis as he prepares for his visit to the United States and he addresses the U.S. Congress and the U.N. General Assembly.

Lord Jesus, we pray that all nations may grow in harmony and peace.

We pray for those who are no longer practicing their Catholic faith, that God’s grace may help bring them back home to the church.

Let us pray for the faithful departed, that they may be at peace in heaven.

Thank you for your prayers.

Father Eamon and the Ministry of Intercessions

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Assumption Prayer for life

August 18th, 2015 · No Comments

Lord Jesus Christ,
You have conquered the power of death
And opened for humanity
The hope of eternal life in body and soul.

You granted your Mother
A share in heavenly glory,
And did not allow decay to touch her body.

As we rejoice in the Assumption of Mary,
Grant us new confidence in the victory of life over death,
And renewed reverence for the human body.

As we honor Mary, Assumed into Heaven,
May we proclaim the hope of Your Gospel:
That you want every human life seated on your throne.

May that hope strengthen us to protect every life here on earth.

You live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

→ No CommentsTags: Intercessory · Marian Devotion · Pro Life

Supreme Court considering Priests for Life case against HHS mandate

August 17th, 2015 · 1 Comment

Priest for Life

NEW YORK — The Supreme Court will meet on September 28 to consider whether or not it will hear Priests for Life’s challenge to the HHS mandate.

In the lead case for the Churches and religious non-profits objecting to the HHS mandate, “Priests for Life, et al. v. Department of Health and Human Services,” the Court consolidated the Priests for Life petition with that of the Archdiocese of Washington. Petitioners in the Priests for Life case include not only the organization, but also, in their personal capacities, Dr. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King Jr. and full-time Director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life, as well as Janet Morana, co-founder of Silent No More, and Fr. Frank Pavone.

The Obama administration’s response to the joint petitions contends that the new “accommodation” for faith-based ministries does not violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Robert Muise, co-founder and senior co-counsel of the American Freedom Law Center, said that, “In arguing, contrary to Priests for Life’s contentions, that it would be consistent with Catholic Church teaching for Priests for Life to comply with the challenged regulations, the government is taking on the impermissible role of deciding what does or does not violate Church teaching and then asking the Court to exceed both its judicial function and its judicial competence by confirming the government’s position. If the Court accepts this argument, it will destroy religious freedom as we know it.”

Priests for Life will submit its reply to the government’s objections on August 26.

Father Pavone said the government’s arguments are unpersuasive and dangerous:

“They are saying, in effect, that they know better than we do what violates our faith. It’s ridiculous, and it undermines all that American was founded on. It is the believer who believes, and the government is supposed to respect his right to believe, not control it.”

A Friend of the Court Brief supporting the petition of Priests for Life in this case has been filed, with the assistance of Americans United for Life, by the following groups: Association of American Physicians & Surgeons; American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Christian Medical Association; National Catholic Bioethics Center; Alabama Physicians for Life; National Association of Pro-life Nurses, and the National Association of Catholic Nurses.

Attorneys at the American Freedom Law Center have indicated that because Priests for Life, in addition to being a religious non-profit entity, is particularly well-suited to challenge the HHS mandate, because the very mission of the organization is to protect human life from precisely the activities that the mandate wants to expand.

To read the government’s response to Priests for Life’s petition, go here

To see all the documentation and commentary on this case, visit here

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia.

→ 1 CommentTags: Pro Life

Carthusians Commemorated

August 5th, 2015 · No Comments

We commemorate several other Carthusians killed because of their loyalty to the faith and the Church:
* other Carthusians, victems of the French Revolution, not yet beatified
* the Carthusians of Prague, killed by Hussites in 1421
* Dom Justus van Schoonhoven, sacristan of the Charterhouse of Delft, martyred by Calvinist, in 1572
* the monks of the Charterhouse of Roermond, also martyred by Calvinist, in 1572
* the Prior and a donate brother of Montalegre, killed in Barcelona during the Spanish civil war, in 1936
* the twelve Carthusians of Farneta, near the city of Lucca, Italy, shot by a contingent of SS Nazis because they had given refuge to Jews and Italian partisans on the ‘wanted list’ of the German army, in 1944.

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Prayer to Saint Anthony of Padua

June 13th, 2015 · No Comments

Glorious Saint Anthony, I salute you
as a good servant of Christ,
and a special friend of God.
You once were favored to hold
the Christ Child in your arms
as you cherished His world
in your heart.
Today I place all my cares,
temptations and anxieties
in your hands.
I resolve ever to honor you
by imitating your example.
Powerful patron, model of purity
and victor over fleshly impulses,
please win for me,
and for all devoted
to you, perfect purity of body,
mind and heart.
I promise by my example and counsel
to help others to the knowledge, love
and service of God.

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Martyrs of England

May 4th, 2015 · No Comments

On 4 May 2007 the clergy and choristers of Westminster Cathedral celebrated Vespers at the London Charterhouse. This was the first public Catholic ceremony held there since the Reformation. Let us look forward to this being an annual honor to the martyrs. We join our prayers in union with the diocese of Westminster for the Martyrs of the English Reformation. Maranatha!

→ No CommentsTags: Carthusian · Martyrs · Prayer